Hyperion Records

Sérénade grotesque
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Ravel's earliest piano composition to survive is entitled Sérénade on the manuscript, from which one might assume that it was an easy-going piece suitable for performance by young ladies in the salons. However, in 1928 he expanded the title to Sérénade grotesque, which fits the music much better, full as it is of surprises, both rhythmic and harmonic, with a plethora of dry arpeggiated chords marked pizzicatissimo. The composer in retrospect felt it was too much influenced by Chabrier (quite possibly by his Bourrée fantasque) and it was not published until after his death.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2011

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